Karen Townsend

Karen Townsend

Toronto: 416.865.7387
Fax 416.865.7380


PhD (Pharmacology and Toxicology), 1997
Dartmouth Medical School
, 1992
Bates College
LLB, 2006
University of Western Ontario
Post-doctoral Fellowship, 1999
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bar Admissions

Ontario, 2007


Karen’s practice focuses on pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food and drug law and intellectual property issues. She has technical expertise in therapeutics, molecular biology, immunology, regenerative medicine, personalized and precision medicine, vaccines and drug delivery systems. She has substantial experience in all aspects of patents, including drafting and prosecution, and regulatory issues relating to acquiring, maintaining and defending patent rights. Karen also has significant expertise in advising on risk management of intellectual property and regulatory matters. She also assists clients interested in investing in life science companies in evaluating technologies and intellectual property portfolios.

Karen is a registered patent agent in the United States and Canada. Having worked in the United States previously, Karen is one of a handful of patent agents residing in Canada who has passed both the U.S. and Canadian patent agent exams and is allowed to represent any applicant before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Representative Work

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Best Lawyers in Canada—Leading lawyer in intellectual property law (2016-2022)


Amplitude Fellowship Program - Building an IP Strategy



Professional Involvement

Before joining Torys, Karen practised as a technology specialist and as a patent agent at U.S. intellectual property law firms, where she represented and advised many life science companies and universities.

As an Adjunct Professor at Western University Faculty of Law in 2013 and 2014, she taught a course on intellectual property law.

Karen has published a number of papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has presented her work at many international conferences.

Memberships and Affiliations

Karen is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Toronto Intellectual Property Group and Women in Bio.